The Beginner's Guide to Demystifying Tea
Tea has been around for millennia and has a prominent place in many culture’s histories. There are ceremonies, businesses, festivals, and holidays all devoted to the beverage. Heck, one of the most memorable scandals in the beginning of the Revolutionary War involved tea. So no matter where you come from, chances are you’re familiar with tea. But are you one of those people that doesn’t get the hype? Have no fear; you’re not alone.
If you think tea is just a cup of hot, bland leaf water, then this blog is for you. So many people around the world, and probably around you, love tea, so why don’t you? Probably because it just never tastes as good as coffee, soda, or even water, right? And I know you’ve probably had tons of people try to convince you that it’s good and that you should give it another chance, and you’re still skeptical. I get it, but give me a chance and I’ll do my best to help you discover why your tea always tastes bad, and what you can do to change that.
Pick Your Poison
First up–not all tea is created equal, and not every type of tea is going to be your cup of tea. Tea is made differently depending on where you are in the world, so when you say you hate tea you probably haven’t tried tea made a different way. Now, I’m not saying you need to import expensive charcoal roasted oolongs from China (although it would taste amazing) in order to like tea, but it helps to know that certain blends and types of tea require different brewing methods.
Get that Goldilocks Temperature
For example, did you know that different types of tea need to be brewed at different temperatures? Black tea is best brewed at 212° Fahrenheit, while white and green tea should be brewed between 175° and 180°. If you brew a tea with water that is too hot, it’ll burn the tea leaves and release bitter and unpleasant flavors into your tea. If you brew with water that is too cold then not all of the flavors will be extracted and you’ll end up with a bland brew. So knowing what type of tea you have, and how to properly brew it, can drastically change the flavor profile of your next cup.
Welcome to Flavortown
Next up: picking flavors. If the only tea you’ve ever tasted is the stuff your mom makes you drink when you’re sick, then no wonder you hate tea. There are a million different flavors out there, but not everybody is going to like them all. I personally hate the taste of chamomile and Earl Gray, and those are two of the most popular teas out there! However I love spiced plum, chai blends, and peppermint. Next time you decide to try tea go for a flavor that’s a little outside the box. Licorice, peach, chocolate, matcha, and lavender are just a few examples of flavors you might not have tried yet.
Now you probably already know all about using honey and sugar to sweeten (or mask the flavor of) your tea, but you’re not limited to just those two options. Some tea purists would hate me for saying this, but put whatever you want in your tea. If you like it, that’s all that matters. So put caramel coffee creamer, maple syrup, berries, cinnamon, or pixie stix in your tea if that makes you like it better.
Try It on the Rocks
Finally, if all else fails and you still hate tea, throw all the rules out the window and try cold brewing it. I know I said temperature was important, but forget that for a second and think about how wonderful cold brew coffee is. Then go grab your Adventure Flask and put tea in the strainer, fill it up with cold water, stick it in the fridge (or outside your tent), and go to bed. When you wake up you’ll have a refreshing cold beverage that tastes remarkably different from a hot brewed tea. The flavor will be much more mild and smoother than its hot counterpart, and who knows, it might just make you a tea fan.